Houston landed its highest-rated commitment of the 247Sports era on Thursday, when five-star power forward Jarace Walker picked the Cougars over Alabama and Auburn. Walker is ranked the No. 13 overall player in the 2022 recruiting class by 247Sports and narrowly edges Class of 2012 Houston signee Danuel House as the program’s top commitment of the modern era.
Walker is the first five-star commitment for the program under eighth-year coach Kelvin Sampson, who led Houston to a 28-4 record and Final Four appearance last season. He joins fellow top-100 prospects Terrance Arceneaux and Emanuel Sharp — both four-star prospects — in the program’s 2022 class.
The assembly of such a strong class that is now headlined by Walker is a sign of Houston’s staying power on the national scene as the program prepares for a future transition from the AAC to the Big 12 on the heels of its deepest NCAA Tournament run since 1982. At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds, Walker could develop into a versatile weapon at the college level.
Here is the full evaluation of his game from 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins:
Walker is a strong physical specimen with a cut-up frame and broad shoulders at the hybrid four man spot. He is a nice vertical athlete who can finish emphatically when given the chance and always looks to assert himself on the glass. When Walker steps on the floor, you can expect to get a contribution from him in a lot of ways. He is one of those guys who gets rebounds, assists, and scores. He will need to improve as a shot maker, but he is a versatile four in the making who has both the physical tools and emerging face-up skills that should only continue to blossom at the next level.
Walker plays for powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, but he is originally from central Pennsylvania.